These traditional English scones are slightly sweet, soft and fluffy and perfect for almost any occasion.
This English scones recipe is as traditional as it gets.
Totally fluffy, puffy and soft, this the best recipe for English scones that I’ve come across.
I’ve been baking them a long time . I’ve used them for strawberry shortcake without the currants and decreased the sugar and used them for biscuits.
But….What is a scone?
Though there are many different varieties of scone, this English scone recipe has baking powder and eggs. It is baked on a baking sheet and often is glazed with an egg wash and topped with a sprinkle of sugar.
This is the kind of scone that is traditionally served at British tea, either with butter, clotted cream or jam. Or all three!
A scone is just a scone; unless it is a bannock; in which case it is generally round and flat and often baked on a griddle. Though often the two words are used interchangeably.
But…a scone vs. a biscuit?
A biscuit has no egg and just a touch of sugar. Alas. But a biscuit is still a cousin of the scone or bannock. Just think of the scone as the biscuit’s richer cousin!
The only biscuit I grew up on was a Bisquick biscuit, or the Pillsbury poppin’ fresh variety.
Yes, this Jewish girl grew up on Bisquick. Bisquick biscuits. Bisquick pancakes. And Bisquick shortcakes.
And if anyone knew about scones when I was growing up, there probably would have been Bisquick scones.
Really there is nothing wrong with Bisquick. But Bisquick was never part of my quest in the search for the perfect biscuit or scone.
I’ve always like the Starbucks maple nut scone. But it never compared to the truly British scone (which is really Scottish), that I ate while having tea with my two gorgeous children, after a long day sightseeing in London.
I remember my daughter decided she needed to see Wimbledon, but Manservant, Alex and I traipsed through the Victoria and Albert Museum and then met daughter back at Harrods (you don’t think she’d miss shopping), before ditching Manservant, while the three of us went for tea at the Capital Hotel, just down the street.
I can’t quite figure out what makes tea so expensive, but after having a busy day, there is nothing quite so civilized as taking it down a notch, and being served tea and scones in a lovely dining room. It is definitely something I could get used to.
And so we had scones. Perfect, beautiful, currant filled scones. With jam. And clotted cream.
And that lovely embroidered fabric wall covering was right behind us. It was gorgeous. In fact, I think we even sat at that table. All while feeling damp and tired and exhausted-after all this was London in December. Not the best time to visit.
But I’d go anytime to London. Even if I don’t get to meet the Queen. Actually, I was way too busy to meet her!
And when I returned I didn’t forget my favorite bite from across the ocean. So I baked this English scones recipe to take to our friend’s mountain cabin, along with a bag of almost crack granola. I’m not sure which was the bigger hit.
But I do have to tell you. These scones were just like I remembered. Just what I’ve been searching for; for FOUR years.
I have a really weird food memory bank, don’t I? Full of flavor. Tender. Cakey. Perfect to slather butter and jam on.
They were great warmed up at 300 degrees in a foil pouch for about 10-15 minutes. My friends loved them.
As we looked out to Grand Lake and saw the birds and the deer and ate our scones, it occurred to me I may not have been in London, but I may as well have been eating the same scone. At least this is how I remember them.
And I’ll have you know I made the best plum jam. Same way I made the raspberry jam. I took the weight of the plums and added the same weight of sugar.
It takes plums a bit longer than raspberries to reach the setting point. And now that my plum tree has met its demise, I’m sure glad I finally figured out how to make plum jam! I then added a touch of allspice and OMG. It was so good.
All this because I saw a boy on the canal picking plums from a tree. So I reached into my back pocket, pulled out my extra bag for scooping poop, and he helped me fill it up. Best jam EVER! To eat with the BEST scone recipe ever.
Bake some tonight. Take a load off. Make some tea. And have an English scone. So civilized, isn’t it?
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This is an updated post from 2014.Print
These soft and cakey scones are the traditional English version that are often served with tea. They are so, so, good!
3 c flour
1/3 c sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 stick butter, cut into cubes
3/4 c currants
1 c milk
Place oven rack in upper level position, but not at the highest level. Preheat to 500 degrees.
Pulse flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in food processor, until combined or for about 5 pulses.
Add cubed butter and pulse until fully incorporated and mixture is fine with no big clumps or pieces of butter. Transfer to a large bowl.
Whisk milk and eggs together in a small bowl. Set aside 2 T to brush on top of scones before baking.
Add remaining milk mixture to flour mixture and using a spatula, fold ingredients together until flour is moist and incorporated. Transfer dough to a floured surface and shape into a large ball.
With floured hands, knead until surface is smooth and free of cracks. Press gently to form a disk about 9 inches around and about 1 inch thick.
Using a floured round cookie cutter, cut out rounds without twisting them, and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Gather scraps and repeat until all dough is used. Brush tops of scones with reserved egg mixture and sprinkle lightly with additional sugar
Place in oven and immediately reduce temperature of oven to 425. Bake until scones have risen and are lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature with more butter, or clotted cream and jam.
Thanks Cooks Illustrated!
Keywords: english scones recipe, biscuit vs. scone, best scones recipes, what is a scone
More Food to Eat while Drinking Tea:
Pumpkin Brown Sugar Muffins
Black Pepper Strawberry Jam
Lemon Rose Madeleines
Chocolate Krantz Cake or Babka